MANILA, Philippines – TechCrunch reported that Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of news partnerships, announced the addition of a news section in their video streaming service, Facebook Watch at the Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, California. Facebook will be highlighting breaking news on the said section.
Facebook launched the Watch platform on August last year to directly compete with other video distribution platforms online such as YouTube and Snap. It is only currently available in the US.
The social media site previously only hosted videos that were being shared by people. With Watch, Facebook now has ownership of original content that it can distribute exclusively on its own service. And now, by adding a news focus, Facebook looks to try a new way for outlets to deliver news.
Historically, the site has notably faced difficulties in managing and curating the news content being shared on the site and how its huge audience consumed it.
A recent algorithmic change tweaked what the audience saw, with personal pages being prioritized over publications. W ith Facebook's plan to feature breaking news on its Watch section, news outfits may have some chance again to reach a wider audience.
The caveat: Brown made it clear that they are currently focusing on and reaching out to local news publishers instead of national outlets. This is in tune with recent reports that Facebook is planning to deliver more localized news to users because according to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, local news "helps build community – both on and offline."
Zuckerberg also said then that this community building aspect is an "important part of making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is valuable."
This latest addition to the Watch platform comes after recent news that Facebook has been on a string of acquisitions for original video content. – Rappler.com